door padlocks

so our nine year old can’t control his behavior. We’ve already locked the pantry ( with the dry food) and the basement door. Now it appears we might have to put a cable lock on the fridge and freezer, keeping him from the food there, which he still sneaks, and also the master bedroom door. He sneaks TV when he should be sleeping. I tried unplugging and disconnecting the cable in the master bedroom, but he figured all that out. We’ll have to lock literally EVERYTHING, because he will sneak anything he could possibly be interested in, and maybe put a ( tamper proof ) motion detector with a loud noise across the threshhold of his hallway, which consists of his bedroom, and a bathroom, so he can go nowhere else at night.

Have you considered discipline?

That hasn’t worked as well, and we’ve tried time out, natural consequences, grounding, taking things, even spankings ( rarely ), and nothing seems to have worked, aside from foolproof prevention. its not just his behavior, its money ( a big issue since I am between jobs, and having serious financial issues ) and health and safety ( food in his room could lead to ‘visitors’ and tools: hammer, screwdrivers, nails,etc…, in his room risks injury.

To be honest, before I started to lock things up I would make an appointment with the child’s doctor for a complete physical with bloodwork and a psycological work up. This, IMHO, is not normal behavior for a 9 year old.

We’ve done all that, He is already in counseling and on meds for behavior. We’ve changed meds 4 times already, and upped dosages to the max the dr. will allow, and his counselor is the third one we’ve had, and the second time with the same counselor.

You seem to be doing all the right things, then.
I am sorry that you are having to deal with this.
If safety warrants, as it seems it does, you need to do what who think is best.
I will keep you and your family in prayer

How do you respond when he acts out like this?

How do you respond when he is behaving?

How do you and your husband interact in front of him?

With the financial concerns you are dealing with, your son may feel the tension and feel the need to act out.

Have you sat him down and told him why he shouldn’t do these things. Some kids (myself included) have a hard time following advice when it’s given from the parental “because I said so!” model of communication. Some kids need to know the how and the why before they change their behavior. Your nine year old is old enough to understand consequences so he can respond appropriately.

Obviously, your son is very bright. He’s able to keep two adults very busy. I would not suggest putting motion detectors in the hallway. That would make me (the 9 year old me) want to rebel even more.

You do need to find out why he feels like he has to sneak things from his parents. Have the counselors been able to diagnose what he has? That may help them give you advice on how to act and respond to these displays.

How is your son’s spiritual training going? How active is the father in this?

Do you incorporate God and the Faith in the daily teaching moments that arise? Praying together daily (Rosary?) and at all meals, read Bible together, personally teach him the catechism (not just drop him off at CCD)? Does he go (with you) to monthly confession? Sunday Mass (Eucharist)?

Also, how much one on one time does he spend with the father on fun bonding activities?

Also, prayers and sacrifices for graces to be given to your son may help.

We are body and soul, we can’t forget about the care of the soul of our children. You may well be doing these things, along with the physical and biological care you mentioned, it just wasn’t in your post.

It’s hell when you feel like you have to lock up everything in the house…BTDT. Not as intense but I had to take my purse and the keys up into the bedroom every night because our son would help himself to money out of my wallet at times. One closet was locked and anything I needed to keep out of his reach was put there. Including medications and food he wasn’t supposed to help himself to. Sometimes, household knives.

Has your son had any testing recently? I mean physical testing. Also, the meds may not be doing him any good. Some of this stuff may be connected to the meds, hard to tell.

If you can’t keep him safe, I don’t know what you can do except consider out of home placement. I know that sounds harsh to people who haven’t been there, but it’s a frightening thing when no matter what you do, your kid is one step ahead of you. Very helpless feeling for a parent.

Was your son adopted? I can’t remember, we haven’t heard from you in a while.

ROFL, I agree. You won’t solve this problem though technology (motion detectors, etc.)

The boy’s in therapy. The boy’s on meds. HOW ABOUT THE PARENTS? Somehow this stems back to that. A young child does not out of the blue start hording food and disobeying. He is afraid. Deep down that child is afraid, and it’s something he senses from you. Get to the bottom of it and fact your own part in this, I beg you.

He’s had behavior problems since at least age 5. He was adopted. There’s something going on with him.


I don’t have any advice. I’ve had similar issues. Sounds like you’re taking appropriate steps.

Will keep you in prayers. Keep us updated.

I wondered if maybe this was an adopted child. My 8 year old went through similar issues with hoarding and trying to sneak things~ For him it wasn’t so much an attempt at being defiant and disobediant, it was more of a security thing. Even though he KNEW we would have enough food for him, as a survival instinct he would try to keep extra “just in case”. Many many foster kids I had would also feel like they had to hoard the food. We finally got him a drawer that would always have snacks in it (but usually healthy ones so he didnt eat nothing but junk). He knew if he felt the need to hide some kind of food it had to stay wrapped (because of ants, etc) but it helped because he had that extra security that “JUST IN CASE” something happened, he was ok.

It’s rough when kids have such a tough beginning, and its hard when people backseat parent when they havn’t lived the history that the child has, or that you have as a parent. Hang in there! Its worth the fight :thumbsup:

Yeah, you kind of wonder if maybe having EXTRA shelves in the child’s room just for food would be a good idea…poor mites. I know what it is to go hungry and I know what it is to lose a parent…it does leave you messed up in certain ways perhaps forever. Abundance is something I still struggle with, can’t believe on some levels.

God bless you for seeing what was going on with your son and responding from love.


Sorry, don’t have much to offer you. I had a daughter who was incredibly defiant from birth. Physical discipline was the only thing that worked for her until High School. Than it was taking away all her electronics/ internet access/cell phone. (It was worth getting her a phone just because of the compliance prompted by taking it away). Kid’s really do choose their punishment- you end up doing what works for that kid.

Unfortunately, what worked for me isn’t relevant to you- discipline has to be tailored to the individual child. They’re all different and respond differently. My middle child is an angel and always been obedient. My youngest has always responded well to time outs or a reward system.

I don’t know if you’ve looked at possibly doing some kind of reward system? Have you assigned him chores and responsibilities? Things like, if he sets and clears the table every day, does the dishes two or three times a week than he can pick out the bed-time snack from the fridge every night?

If he does the yard work (weeding/edging etc.) than you’ll help him with some small woodworking/art/craft project of his choice?

When I was very little, after my father left, my mother didn’t have enough money to feed my brother and I. We got through it, but years later, I still feel the need to hoard food in fear of “running out”.

When I was about 9, my mother’s way of handling it was to allow me constant access to the fridge and pantry, and tell me that I could hide food in my room, BUT any food I took up to my room had to be wrapped, and if I ate it, I had to clean up right away, or I would lose food in my room priveleges. She also kept all treats (candy, sodas, etc) in a high cabinet that she kept locked.

Keeping the child locked out of your fridge and pantry isn’t going to send the message that he shouldn’t hide food. It’s going to reinforce it, because he is afraid of going without, and you are making him go without.

As far as sneaking television, get rid of it, or move it into your bedroom.

Your mom was a wise woman. Having known hunger in my youth, I still hoard food. I could never live with 1 or 2 cans in my pantry. In fact, it’s sad, but I end up wasting food because I cook too much and buy too much, especially if something is on sale.

Traillius, you guys should talk to his physician and his therapist. There may be some interaction of the meds that is exacerbating this appetite. There are syndromes that cause a person to experience constant hunger.

Yes, this is me. :smiley:

My FH teases me because I cook for an army every time he comes to dinner, and I have a refrigerator full of Tupperware containers full of food.

I’m curious how old your son was when he was adopted.
Our son came home to us at 28 months, when he had already been in 4 other home settings, suffered neglect, possibly abuse, exposure to violence, etc. A lot can happen in a few months, that can affect a child forever.
However, our son is 18 now, he left home a couple of years ago (without our permission) but we are on fairly good terms now.
What I wanted to say is what I wish I had done differently: I would have spent more time in the evening with him. I used to read to both our children before bed, but at about age 9 our son wasn’t interested any more, so I moved on to more advanced books with our daughter. If I could redo it, I would read to him separately, books more appropriate for his interest level.
I would also try to play games with him more, involve him more in family activities. I’m sure you are doing all of these things.
The years go by so quickly, and by early teens there’s little more you can do.

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